If you live in the Northeast or Midwest of the U.S., your courses are probably just starting to perk back up following one of the harshest winters in recent memory. Here in central Ohio, putts are finally starting to roll without hopping left and right off unhealed aeration holes. But the courses are hurting in more ways than just being behind in maintenance. Between rain and cool weather in April, rounds are down at both public and private courses. On a 60 degree weekend day, one popular private club reportedly had a "wide open" tee sheet. Normally in April or May, you would need to make a tee time a week in advance.
Every day, lost rounds mean thousands of dollars of revenue lost from greens fees and food and beverage sales at each course, revenue that is unlikely to be made up since the season will only last so long. That's not good for golf or golfers. So do your part and go play some golf.
But first, let's hit the links.
Hole #1: Hey Holmes
J.B. Holmes notched his first win since 2008 at this weekend's Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina. His final round 71, and bogey on 18, were enough for him to hang on to win by one. His is a great comeback story, overcoming injuries to his ankle and elbow injuries, and most recently brain surgery to correct vertigo-like symptoms. Now if we could just correct his "deliberate" pre-shot routine. [Link]
Hole #2: A Tale of Two Rounds
When Brendon de Jonge posted an 80 on Thursday at Quail Hollow, we might have expected him to be thinking about checking flights for a Friday evening trip home. But instead, he went out and bettered his first round by 18 strokes and tied the course record. He finished T6. That's what we call a bounceback. [Link]
Hole #3: Texas Shootout, er Shellacking
Stacy Lewis shot up the field at the Texas Shootout, winning by six over runner-up Meena Lee. Lewis, who entered the final round tied for the lead, shot a 7-under 64 to pull away. [Link]
Hole #4: Two-Two
There must have been something about ending 6-year dry streaks this week. Felipe Aguilar, like J.B. Holmes, hadn't won in six years going into the European Tour's Championship at Laguna National this week. Aguilar finished his final two holes with just four strokes, total. He birdied the par 3 17th, and then holed his pitching wedge on 18 for an eagle. He won by a stroke over Anders Hanson and David Lipsky. [Link]
Hole #5: Tiger to Design New Course
Tiger Woods might be nursing a bad back, but he's taking on some new work. His design business has been hired to build a new 18-hole course at Bluejack National, a private club in the Houston area. It's good that he has some money coming in while he's laid up. [Link]
Hole #6: Be Nice to Greenskeepers
They've had a tough winter, and spring. Here's why the greens may be bumpy and brown this summer in Chicago. [Link]
Hole #7: Less Faldo, More Fallon
Is Jimmy Fallon the new face of golf? He'll be on the cover of Golf Digest soon. We suspect his appearance will be better received than Paulina Gretsky's was (at least by the LPGA). [Link]
Hole #8: Changes Well Received at Quail Hollow
The most obvious change was #16, lengthened to play as long as 528 and shifted 80 yards to the left so the green borders water on two sides. Most players liked the results of the makeover. [Link]
Hole #9: Tragedy Strikes Former LPGA Player's Family
Susie Kirk, who played on the LPGA as Susie Redman, is mourning the loss of her daughter-in-law-to-be and hoping for her son's recovery after a car accident on April 28th. Kirk's son, John Redman, 23, an assistant basketball coach at Dalton State, was driving with his fiancé, Brittany Huber, when he lost control of his car and hit a bridge support. Huber died at the scene, and Redman is in a drug-induced coma with swelling on the brain and other injuries. The couple were traveling to Mobile, Alabama, where they were to wed this past weekend. Our thoughts go out to the families of the couple. [Link]